Slovenia's stunning capital is home to a river that flows gently through the old town, so why not admire the ‘Green Capital of Europe’ for yourself by booking a holiday to Ljubljana in 2019 / 2020? A vast portion of the land is occupied by historic buildings, museums and local businesses, whereas the rest is mostly green, explaining how Ljubljana got its impressive title from the European Commission in 2016. Boasting a traffic-free zone in its nucleus and a castle that dates back to ancient times, there’s a lot to be discovered on holidays to Ljubljana.
From its flower-lined river banks to the sprawling manicured gardens, it’s no wonder Ljubljana is a favoured place on the map for Euro-trippers. This must-visit destination doesn’t have any majorly famous attractions snuggled into its patchwork of fortresses, bridges and cosy houses. However, the flourishing landscape will have you feeling as though you are not in a city at all. Stroll alongside Baroque buildings, attend a musical event, and marvel at Jože Plečnik's architecture by visiting Tromostovje Bridge.
Ljubljana's city character is influenced greatly by its medieval architecture, despite the fact that a lot of the original architectural structures were turned to rubble following an earthquake back in the 1500s. Since 1842, the central of the three bridges that make up the Triple Bridge landmark has remained sturdy and well-maintained. Peruse a fascinating collection of medieval manuscripts inside the National and University Library, and don’t forget to visit the former centre of medieval Ljubljana at Mestini Square and the Town Hall when on holiday in Ljubljana.
Choosing a place to eat lunch or dinner in Ljubljana will leave you spoilt for choice. The Open Kitchen Food Market takes place every Friday between March and October. Accept an offering from the local chefs, farmers and vendors here to get an idea of what pleases your palate.
Recommended local restaurants include Špajza Restaurant and Pri Škofu. Their menus vary but generally, you’ll see gnocchi, pasta dishes or Hungarian-influenced fare like goulash being served to hungry customers.
Stroll around one of the wine cellars to learn about to learn about viticulture in Slovenia. One of three wine-producing regions, Ljubljana has its fair share of wine bars. Chardonnay, Rebula, Sauvignon and Rumeni Muskat are just a few of the beverages you can order by the glass or bottle at Bubbles Champagne Bar, Dvorni Bar and eVino Bar.
Be sure to check the event schedule before arranging your holiday to Ljubljana, because the family will have a blast at one of the city-sponsored events. Children can get stuck into hands-on activities at the kids workshops or meet new friends at the public playgrounds. Why not purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the local market, and pack a picnic? Feast on the lawn at one of the green spaces around the city, or cycle around the lake and find an area to unwind.
Action & Adventure
Renting a bike is the best way to cram the most into your time away from home. With its prime position in the middle of the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, you can swim, ski and snowboard during a single holiday in Ljubljana. The best months for skiing are January and February.
A tour boat experience will add an element of adventure to your Slovenian getaway, as will a canyoning or rafting adventure to Triglav National Park. A protected area, the jaw-dropping setting covers 85,000 hectares. Make sure you hike to the waterfall when you're on Triglav territory.
Accessing the beaches of Slovenia is not possible on foot. Instead, hire a car, take a taxi or hop on a local bus to City beach in Koper, or City beach in Strunjan. If you’re not up for the journey, bask in the calm atmosphere at one of Ljubljana's vast expanses of flawless green areas.
Park Tivoli is the most sublime of all the city parks. French engineer, Jean Blanchard, designed the park in 1813. A rose garden, artwork, and a glasshouse can be found on its grounds. Some other places where you can swap sand for grassy gardens include Argentina Park, Volčji Potok Arboretum, and the Ljubljana Botanic Garden, where 4,600 species of tropical plant species grow.
The people of Ljubljana are big fans of late-night partying. Start your evening at one of the city squares and knock back a few drinks inside a café whilst people-watching.
Hidden out of sight from the main road is Godec Rock Pub, which is an English-style pub. Drink beer and listen to rock music here, before strolling in the direction of Daktari, where the upbeat atmosphere will get you in the mood for a party. Some other live music venues, bars, and pubs in and around Ljubljana are the Corner Pub, Magda, and Pivnica Union.
Discovering the metropolis with your partner is possible in many ways, such as riding the funicular up to Ljubljana Castle and watching the sunset from the castle tower. Couples can walk hand-in-hand around the winding streets at night, when the lights from the city buildings reflect a fantastic mirror image onto the river. Learn about the city's dynamic history as you wander around cultural sights, such as the Dragon Bridge. Crossing the Ljubljanica River, this arched bridge is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city.
The people of Slovenia are generally very friendly and even more so if they are shown respect. Earn it by educating yourself slightly on the local culture and customs, which are not typically European. Don't expect the local people to greet you with a welcoming hug, as they are not the type to act in such a manner. They will politely say 'Dober dan' – or good day – however. Maintaining eye contact is essential and in particular, when meeting someone for the first time.
It’s difficult to define the Slovenian language, which is a mishmash of German, French, English, Hungarian, and Italian. A vast portion of the population speak English, so you won't have trouble getting by. One of the main things you will notice during your holiday in Ljubljana is the sound of church bells ringing, what with most of the population having a Catholic faith. Visit the National Museum of Slovenia to really get a feel for the culture.